PDX10 vs HC1 vs FX1 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series

Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 3rd, 2005, 09:05 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cadillac, MI
Posts: 129
PDX10 vs HC1 vs FX1

I'm looking to replace my PDX10 with an HDV camera. Because I shoot almost everything in HD using my FX1, I'd like to have and HD B-Camera as well (I currently use the PDX10 as my B-Camera.)

I have a couple questions about the HC1, however.

First off, can anyone tell me how it intercuts with an FX1? Is there a tremendous quality difference, or do the cameras intercut well? Has anyone used an HC1 as a B-Camera to the FX1? If so, does it work out well for you?

Also, how does the manual control compare between the PDX10 and HC1? I know there's no comparison between the HC1 and FX1, but the key manual controls on the PDX10 (to me) are manual white balance, exposure, and audio levels. Does the HC1 have these?

I guess that's about it - any other comments would be greatly appreciated, and thanks to whoever can answer my questions! :-)
Eric Wotila is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 5th, 2005, 11:38 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 94
Yes Yes Yes Yes

all the answer are surely Yes,
i only shoot at manual mode.
i have to say u must enter the menu to set white balance,
also must set the shutter speed at auto mode , then switch to manual exposure.focus, well, if u use the zoom rocker only this is easy with the focusing ring. the expand focus helps a lot.
read out the aperture setting by read out the data.

the bottom line is if i use 2 HC1 to shoot e.g. AB shooting , perhaps faster than 1 Fx1 in some cases.

quailty wise, if u know all the setting well, and make a clean image on HDV , u can do a lot in post.
it looks very non professional in terms of size, but if u r a pro. doing a great job who cares. try to make a big camera casing to fit ur HC1.

good luck.
John Yamamoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2005, 04:31 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Posts: 337
Eric,

I have a Z1 and an A1 (pro version of the HC1)- and I used to have a PDX10 - before I purchased the A1 - so I guess that I am the best person to give you advice.

Firstly - the PDX10 was a great camera, and I was sorry to sell it..... but... the quality of picture I get from the A1 leaves it for dead. The PDX10 cut in well with the Z1 on SD, but the quality of the A1 is absolutly outstanding and cuts in very well in HDV. It does not quite have all of the manual control of the PDX10 - but at the end of the day it is the result that matters - and I am very happy. To be more specific you DO have manual control over audio levels (not sure about the HC1), exposure, white balance and shutter speed, but you cannot easily set F stops - and even if you figure out a system to do it there is a very narrow range due to the CMOS sensor and the way that Sony has set the camera up. This does not cause me any problems when shooting however - and I have to say that I love this little camera. It is not quite a Z1 - but it is a lot lighter and more convenient - so I shoot more often with it than my Z1. However, there are some times when it must be the Z1!

Hope that this helps.
__________________
Graeme
Graeme Fullick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2005, 02:46 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme Fullick
Eric,

I have a Z1 and an A1 (pro version of the HC1)- and I used to have a PDX10 - before I purchased the A1 - so I guess that I am the best person to give you advice.

Firstly - the PDX10 was a great camera, and I was sorry to sell it..... but... the quality of picture I get from the A1 leaves it for dead. The PDX10 cut in well with the Z1 on SD, but the quality of the A1 is absolutly outstanding and cuts in very well in HDV. It does not quite have all of the manual control of the PDX10 - but at the end of the day it is the result that matters - and I am very happy. To be more specific you DO have manual control over audio levels (not sure about the HC1), exposure, white balance and shutter speed, but you cannot easily set F stops - and even if you figure out a system to do it there is a very narrow range due to the CMOS sensor and the way that Sony has set the camera up. This does not cause me any problems when shooting however - and I have to say that I love this little camera. It is not quite a Z1 - but it is a lot lighter and more convenient - so I shoot more often with it than my Z1. However, there are some times when it must be the Z1!

Hope that this helps.
Graeme, how does the A1 compare to the Z1 for run and gun shooting, like weddings.
I know you can program a button on the A1 to bring up some settings so you don't have to go into the menu, like Zebra, Exposure etc.
Also have you used the A1 in any low light settings. I would normally use an on camera light for shooting in dim conditions, but was curious as to the A1's dynamic range.
__________________
Michael
www.lvpvideo.com
Michael Liebergot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2005, 05:24 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Posts: 337
Michael,

In good light the A1 is close to the Z1 in quality - but the Z1 is still a clear winner. In low light the Z1 wins easily - but it costs twice as much. I would not say the A1 was poor - it is just not up to the quality of the Z1 (which contrary to what a lot of others say is quite OK in low light). I have a small Sony fill light which works very well on both cameras (and acts as a torch the rest of the time) and runs off F series batteries.

The A1 is fantastic for hand held stuff - I don't find the light weight and size a problem for stable shooting.

The A1 only has one programmable button - which is a bit hard to get used to after having 6 on the Z1, but I guess that is what you pay the extra dollars for.
__________________
Graeme
Graeme Fullick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2005, 11:43 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,505
Thanks Graeme, I have one more question for you.

I shoot weddings and recitals and am looking to start the climb to HD from SD.

I currently shoot with a VX2100 for main camera nd GL1 for cutaways.

I am looking to add a HD camera to use as my main camera to go along with my VX2100 and use GL1 for CYA only (then go away).

The Z1 is out of my reach, but, I was looking at the FX or A1.

Which camera would you recommend to use as a main camera.
Low light is a concern to some point, but I always shoot receptions handheld using DVRig Pro and PAGC6 light system, with diffusion.

I will be recording in HD and capture to Cineform Codec (so I can zoom in and crop if necessary) and mixing with DV footage from VX2100 in Vegas6 using standard 16:9 template, since final delivery will be Standard DVD.

Eventually sell GL1 and I will add a second HD camera. It might go A1 and then add FX1 for compliment camera or visa versa.
__________________
Michael
www.lvpvideo.com
Michael Liebergot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2005, 01:05 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Posts: 337
Michael,

The answer to this lies more with the audio than the video.

I don't use the FX1 - as I am fussy about my audio. Yes I know that a lot of people here say that you get the FX1 and a Beachtek and all is fine, but I much prefer the built in XLR and the many other small features that make the Z1 so good. I believe that in many circumstances the picture quality of the FX1 is on a par with the Z1, but the extra tweaks and control in more difficult situations definitely should give the Z1 a leg up here. That said - the FX1 should still produce exceptional video in HD and SD and in low light (despite what some say).

The A1 produces exceptional video as well (just a bit below the Z1), but it is not as good in low light (gets a bit more grain even with black stretch on). The A1 does however come with a really neat XLR adaptor and a reasonable microphone - which is much better than the on board mics on either the Z1 or the FX1.

So it is a hard call - if the video is the most important the FX1 is probably your best bet - but if you value your audio and you want a nice light portable camera as a backup (and for other uses) then the A1 is sure attractive. One other to throw into the mix is the HC1 - although it is the worst of the 4 HD Sony cams. This does NOT mean however that it is a bad camera. I used one and was very impressed - especially at the price point. I just prefer the much better audio and few extra pro features on the A1 - to me they are well worth the extra dollars (although there are many that don't agree).

Hope this helps.
__________________
Graeme
Graeme Fullick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2005, 08:35 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,505
Graeme, thanks for the reply. I am one that is very info audio side as well, and preffer built in XLR. But, this being video, is more imprtant than audio for me, as I record audio seperately for backup purposes anyway either to Flash recorders (IRivers and M-Audio 24/96).

I would probably be using the HD camera as my wide camera for now, as I would be able to zoom in closer in post, when mixing with my VX2100. I might rethink this part when recording dark ceremony and use A1 up close since VX2100 is better in low light (for cutaways).

For reception work though, I might actually go with HD camera, as I use on camera light PAGC6 as I mentioned earlier. So with this being said, would the A1 work well, in your opinion in low light when being used with 20W onboard diffused light?

As you can see, I'm very intrigued and leaning towards the A1, mainly because I am still not a big fan or XLR boxes like Beachteck. They work ok, but I still get added pre amp noise i wouldn't get with built in onboard XLR's.

I wish the Z1 was cheaper... =(
__________________
Michael
www.lvpvideo.com
Michael Liebergot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2005, 12:26 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cadillac, MI
Posts: 129
Thanks for all the advice! You guys really helped me out with this decision! I sold my PDX10 the other day, and I'll be picking up an HC1 pretty soon here.

I'll let you all know how it goes! :)
Eric Wotila is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2005, 01:17 PM   #10
Tourist
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bideford Devon United Kingdom
Posts: 3
HC1 as B camera for Z1U / FX1

Hi Eric .. I'm using this setup .. I shoot stuff with both .. provided you're not using Cinegamma on the Z1 you'll have no problem matching shots .. the HC1 is slightly noisier in low light .. but is a tiny bit sharper due to the overall higher resolution CCD. The steadyshot is all but useless .. as it's digital .. not recommended. I've just shot about 7 hours on the HC1E (UK PAL) on a trip to Hawaii .. compared with similar lighting stuff that I shot in Cyprus last autumn (fall) with the Z1U .. I prefer the sharper pix from the HC1E .. never thought that I'd be saying that for such a cheap camcorder!
The HC1 has settings for attached lens converters too .. so I've been using the old Canao W/A from my VX2100E with a step down ring, and it's very good. You really have to watch out for abberration with these HDV camcorders, and lens adaptors don't do them any favours .. so only use the W/A if you're shooting WIDE.
The HC1 has slightly different RED balance on Auto, and the greens look less ranging in the gamut .. but at first glance, you'll have difficulty telling which camera is which on the edit timeline.
Anthony Koorlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2005, 03:02 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Posts: 337
Michael,

The A1 works very well if you keep the light up. I am also using a 20W light and at about 2- 3m it looks very good. Starts to get a bit of grain at greater distances as the light drops off. I think that you might be on the right track with the way you are thinking.

Noticed that you are using the M-audio microtrack. How do you find it? I have just ordered one, and was wondering if I had made the correct decision.
__________________
Graeme
Graeme Fullick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2005, 03:47 PM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,505
"Noticed that you are using the M-audio microtrack. How do you find it? I have just ordered one, and was wondering if I had made the correct decision.


Graeme, thanks for all of your feedback. The A1 is the route I will probably go with first, and then add an FX1 or Z1 later on. As I said I generally always use an on camera light, if nothing for fill lighting at least. I tend to film a lot of outdoor ceremonies and would love to see how the A1 holds up with contarasting values.

I regards to the M-Audio 24/96, you will love it. The onboard pre amp is great and gives you about a -10db pad. The menu is easy to navigate and having level meters on the display is a god send for me, coming from using IRIvers for alot of backup recording. My only complaint about it us it's battery life. I am probably going to pickup a usb batter box, that someone mentioned to me which should last for an entire reception.
__________________
Graeme
__________________
Michael
www.lvpvideo.com
Michael Liebergot is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:48 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network